Compiling Reports: EXPO Chicago 2013

September 24, 2013 · Print This Article

In case you thought we maybe glossed over the epic amount of blood sweat and tears that went into last week’s art fair extravaganza, I thought I’d repost a few articles that came out in the last few days including this one from Art in America:

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Strong Sophomore Outing for Expo Chicago

by Brian Boucher

“I’ll tell you what distinguishes this year from last year,” Expo Chicago director Tony Karman told A.i.A. at the fair’s sophomore outing on Saturday, “and I’ll tell you in one word—sales. It was very important that big dealers like David Zwirner and Marianne Boesky do well, and they have.”

Featuring over 120 international galleries at the capacious Navy Piers (up from 100 last year), with views of Lake Michigan, Expo Chicago (Sept. 19-22) represented dealers from 17 countries and 36 cities. Some were returning, like Zwirner (New York and London), Matthew Marks (New York and Los Angeles), and Kavi Gupta (Chicago and Berlin). There were also many first-timers, including Marianne Boesky (New York), Cabinet (London), Massimo de Carlo (Milan and London) and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.

While almost every exhibitor acknowledged that sales were little to none in 2012, nearly all said that business was better this year. Dealers reported a range of sales, starting as low as $4,000 for works on paper by Chicago’s own William J. O’Brien at Boesky. Works in a modest price range found the most ready buyers, but there were outliers. Boesky told A.i.A. of serious interest in an assemblage by Salvatore Scarpitta, Drummer Seargeant (1963), which was tagged at $750,000, and one dealer who declined to be named told A.i.A. that he had sold a million-dollar artwork—and to a walk-in customer, no less. read more

A handful of additional EXPO 2013 accounts can be found here:

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Paul Klein on The Huffington Post, with some lovely installations shots to boot:

This is the second year of this wonderful mid-sized art fair, with substantial galleries bringing some A quality art and almost enough cutting edge galleries showing off exciting artists to watch.There are some gorgeous treasures to be seen. 

A selection from the Annely Juda Fine Art installation.

A selection from the Annely Juda Fine Art installation.

More photos of favorite works via The Chicagoist.

Many reports via Art Fag City over the course of the week/end, beginning with from Paddy Johnson’s mixed reaction:

Importantly, the fair seems an enormous step up from anything Merchandise Mart offered, a mega-fair corporation that’s been largely unsuccessful at handling art. Much as the company does for Volta in New York, Merchandise Mart used their own real estate to house Next Art Chicago, even though its low ceilings were unsuited to showcasing art. Last year, when they closed, the organization claimed that collectors were only purchasing art on the coast lines.

A photo collection courtesy of Paddy Johnson, with “the good, the bad and the ugly:”

It’s impossible to describe EXPO Chicago without offering a few images to tell the story. This slideshow with commentary do just that. Highlights, lowlights, and everything in between below.

Andreas Lolis' marble "cardboard" boxes IN/SITU, EXPO Chicago, 2013.

Andreas Lolis’ marble “cardboard” boxes IN/SITU, EXPO Chicago, 2013.

And AFC’a closing word from Robin Dluzen:

A main concern for EXPO and the exhibiting galleries was last year’s absence of collectors and museums from the wider midwest region and beyond, and this year, EXPO managed to draw them in. William Lieberman of Zolla/Lieberman Gallery (a veteran Chicago dealer, first time EXPO exhibitor) saw his clients from St. Louis and San Francisco; Monique Meloche, also exhibiting for the first time at EXPO and the founder of Gallery Weekend Chicago running concurrently with the fair, had museum groups from Kentucky and Denver buying for themselves and buying for the museums. “MoMA is not going to buy here,” she explains, “But this can be a strong regional place.” It’s not just the out-of-towners making themselves known, but also the more reclusive local collectors. “I had Sanford Biggers in my windows for months,” said Meloche of the artist’s recent exhibition at her eponymous gallery, “I brought him here to the fair and there are Chicago collectors discovering the work for the first time.”

Dmitry Samarov writes in Art on its Own Terms:

My strategy at these fairs has always been to run through the entire thing quickly, then return to anything that made my eye stop. Most years that amounts to four or five paintings or drawings and this year was no different. There was a good corner where a David Park portrait was next to an Elmer Bischoff figure painting, with a Richard Diebenkorn drawing round the corner. I was also happy to see a Leon Kossoff painting along with a couple of drawings. There was an Alice Neal children’s portrait too, that made all the work around it look like newspaper clippings. The thing I liked best though were a couple small Harold Haydon cityscapes.

Terraniums edit

Chicago Magazine got a kick out of Seattle-based artist Vaughn Bell, mini earth-and-moss terrariums that were “available for adoption this weekend at the Expo Chicago art fair on Navy Pier.” 

And finally — Artslant Thomas Connors interviewed Tony Karman:

TC: A fair of modern and contemporary work must be something of a balancing act. You’ve got the de Kooning collector on one hand and the Simon Starling fan on the other. And I’m guessing the blue chip collector isn’t looking to acquire an emerging artist.

TK: Let me disagree with you. To some extent, there are certain collectors who will only want to buy that de Kooning. But other lifelong collectors want to be in the vanguard; they are going to look to the younger work because that is equally exciting to them. That’s probably more the norm. A great collector likes to have a balance of contemporary work and historical material.




Lindsay Pollock Named Editor in Chief of Art in America

January 5, 2011 · Print This Article

Lindsay Pollock

I don’t usually follow the ins and outs of who is in and out at the art magazines, but the news that Bloomberg and The Art Newspaper reporter Lindsay Pollock had been named Art in America’s new Editor in Chief did catch my eye–admittedly, only via this post by András Szántó in Artworld Salon yesterday. I thought Szántó’s directives about where AiA should strive to fit within the art mag landscape were particularly interesting, and worth sharing:

“So what now with Art in America? It clearly needs an energy boost. Its detached, ivory-tower approach, where long reviews dutifully appear long after exhibitions have closed, seems like a quaint anachronism. The magazine has a reputation for pulling its punches. Its cautious academism is out of synch with a culture where opinions are supersized. What new leadership can bring to the magazine above all, I think, is a fruitful demolition of the walls that divide scholarly and aesthetic writing, on the one hand, and thoughtful journalistic appraisals of the “dark side” of art as an institutional and – gasp – commercial system.

No one’s better suited to open up those fertile pathways than Lindsay, who sees the life of art as an all-encompassing totality that spans from the artist studio to the scholarly study to the champagne and canapé-besotted halls of Art Basel.”

So far, from what I can tell AiA’s announcement has been greeted with a giant snore, but I guess it does provide an opportunity for some of us to opine on the relative importance of the (printed) art mag at this particular historical moment. I continue to be surprised at the reverence that people feel for print publications (even, on occasion, myself). Beyond that, I don’t have an opinion – but if you do, go on over to Artworld Salon and tell ‘em what you think.

UPDATE: Charlie Finch weighs in on Pollock’s appointment over at Artnet. Some funny lines delivered by Finch here, but WTF is “andropause” supposed to mean?




Betsy Baker Resigned As Editor of Art in America

September 13, 2008 · Print This Article

Betsy BakerFrom the desk of Mark Staff Brandl “After more than three decades as the editor of Art in America magazine, Elizabeth C. Baker, a powerful voice in the contemporary-art world,” as Randy Kennedy describes her, has resigned.

As the New York Times writes, with very little information coming from the magazine itself:

“The change comes shortly after a shake-up in the magazine’s ownership. Peter M. Brant, a newsprint magnate and art collector, took over Brant Publications, the magazine’s publisher, in January after buying out the 50 percent stake owned by his former wife, Sandra Brant. Mr. Brant appointed Fabien Baron and Glenn O’Brien as joint editorial directors of Art in America and the company’s two other publications, Interview and The Magazine Antiques. Ms. Baker, known as Betsy, took over the magazine in 1974. Under her leadership Art in America grew from a bimonthly publication with a circulation of around 45,000 to a monthly with a circulation of more than 75,000, featuring the writing of many influential critics. Marcia E. Vetrocq, who joined Art in America in 1998 as a senior editor, will take over as editor. Ms. Baker will become editor at large in charge of special projects, which will include book publishing and Web site development.”

Read more about the shakeup and Mark’s history with Art in America at Sharkfourm the Newman to my Seinfeild…. Or is that reversed? :)

Don’t forget fight night is just a few months away!